Jake Luton found DJ Chark deep downfield in his first NFL completion.
The thumb injury to Jaguars starter Gardner Minshew has thrust rookie Jake Luton, a sixth-round pick out of Oregon State, into the spotlight ahead of Jacksonville’s game against the Houston Texans. The 6-6 gunslinger didn’t look the least bit shellshocked, as he found DJ Chark 30 yards down the field on his first NFL completion.
Luton ripped a dime to Chark, who took his pass 73 yards to the house to give the Jaguars a 7-0 lead over Deshaun Watson and their AFC South rivals. The Texans need to kick it into hyperdrive to stay mathematically alive, and letting a rookie gash them from the very start is certainly not an optimal start.
Jake Luton was a solid starting quarterback at Oregon State
Luton threw 38 touchdown passes against just seven interceptions during his last two years last the starter in Corvallis. The Beavers’ offense gave him a lot of predetermined reads, but his arm strength and touch deep down the field are both exemplary, and he showed off why he was worthy of a draft pick on that throw.
Luton has some proving to do, and the Texans have one of the league’s worst defenses against the run and the pass, but a rookie stepping into a difficult situation in a divisional game and instantly throwing bombs down the field is extremely impressive, and that throw should give Jacksonville some confidence in Luton as a starting quarterback.
Minshew will likely still be the starter when he returns from injury, but Luton has hit the ground running in his first start. With a few more throws like that, he’ll stick around in the NFL for a few years and could earn himself a few more starts in Jacksonville.